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Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Laterally SpeakingBig Screen Blockbusters

Big Screen Blockbusters

It wouldn’t be summer without our eyes and ears being assaulted by a thunderous crop of remakes and holiday hit movies. This year we had a new version of the Transformers series subtitled the Age of Extinction—a title which obviously refers to my eardrums which are now 100% extinct. Surely this should be renamed The Loudest Film Ever Released?

Last month we witnessed Dawn of the Planet of the Apes—the eighth in the famous monkey movie franchise. After ‘Rise of…’ and now ‘Dawn of…’, I wonder how long they can keep the series going. Perhaps the next one will be called Lunch of the Planet of the Apes or even Planet of the Planet of the Apes?

Summer blockbuster sequels are bold and brash (and loud) and attract massive production and advertising budgets. Dorset, Devon and Somerset could benefit from some of these millions if we come up with exciting storylines for follow-up blockbusters with a regional twist. Here are some lateral film ideas for global release sometime around 2017…

Romeo and Juliet 2

It may seem strange to suggest a sequel to a movie starring two characters who so obviously die at the end of part one, but wait! This is a new zombie movie (all the rage currently!) set in Somerset, where the romantic couple arise from the dead to terrorise the good citizens of Crewkerne. Watch in horror as Romeo emerges from Waitrose car park to feast upon a coach party from Durham. See our hero Bruce Willis serenade the un-dead Juliet in an attempt to get her to come down off her balcony before she hurts herself (UK Health and Safety script version)

Star Wars 10—the Return of the Prequel before the Sequel to the Last Film

So many movies, so confusing. Let’s start planning number ten now but will it be the one before that other one or the other way round?  As you may know, every Star Wars film starts with the words: ‘A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….’ But it would help if we knew whereabouts this is (or was). I reckon it’s somewhere between Dalwood and Membury in wildest East Devon. I got lost there once (faulty Sat Nav) so I can imagine Luke Skywalker secretly building his Death Star blaster in a garage near Axminster. Nobody would know and East Devon is certainly the last place the Dark Side would think of. It’d also be relatively cheap to make with just a few cows and farm buildings—no need for expensive X-Starfighters or Killer Clones.

Lord of the Rings 4—Return to Maumbury

Situated not far from Dorchester town center, Maumbury Rings is a perfect venue for Hobbits and other little creatures such as badgers and rabbits. Director Peter Jackson needs to embrace pastures new instead of always staging Middle Earth in New Zealand. I mean, c’mon now Peter—it’s not as if J.R. Tolkien was a Kiwi! He was English and he even lived for a time in Dorset! So although New Zealand’s very beautiful, please give Dorset countryside a chance too. And to help keep costs down, I gather that Orcs can still be hired by the hour from parts of Weymouth.

Jurassic Park 13—the Jurassic Coast

A shy and withdrawn T-Rex suffers a nervous breakdown near Abbotsbury. Watch him devour a flock of alpacas for tea and then burst into tears because everyone is so scared of him. He needs to feel loved.

Jaws 5—a Chesil Experience

After the previous 4 Jaws movies, the terror franchise crosses the Atlantic and arrives at West Bay. A small dog goes missing in the sea at Eype and a floating plastic bag is mistakenly reported to be the fin of a giant shark. In the ensuing panic, ‘no swimming’ signs are put up along 15 miles of Chesil beach and the town of Charmouth is cordoned off. After an hour and a half of lovely scenery but not much action, a holidaymaker from Belgium, in a kayak, finally kills the plastic bag with a tent pole.

Frozen 2—a Bracing Experience

Here’s another attempt at an exciting seaside drama… a nearly true story about a family of four from London who, encouraged by the recent hot and sunny weather, imagine the English Channel to be on a par with the Cote d’Azur. They accordingly dive into the sea off Burton Bradstock and nearly faint in the unexpectedly icy cold water. Recovering in a nearby expensive restaurant, they commence legal proceedings against West Dorset District Council for not warning the public by erecting signs saying the ocean can be cold even in August. The case continues… But thankfully this movie doesn’t. It’s too silly, too boring and alas almost too true for today’s litigation crazy world. As you can read on this page, the summer silly season has arrived!

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